The Transylvania Times -

Potters Prove To Be A Good Fit For Sabra


October 2, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Molly Brouwer and Klayton Huff in their Lake Toxaway pottery studio.

The Sabra Dipping Company has found the right fit to present its hummus thanks to a pottery business in Lake Toxaway.

In June, the White Plains, N.Y., company contacted Molly Brouwer and Klayton Huff of Panthertown Pottery and Print to potentially make thousands of bowls to fit their standard hummus containers.

After speaking with some of its consumers, Sabra had found people were looking for a better option to display and serve their hummus, Brouwer said.

Because their hummus is packaged with a garnish in the middle, they did not want to have to destroy the look of the garnish while scooping the product into the decorative container.

Sabra's solution was to find potters to make custom, hand-made bowls in which the container could nestle - disguising the plastic while keeping the garnish intact

With a successful promotional give-away this summer, using three other potters, Sabra decided to extend the project, Brouwer said.

"They sought us out to come up with our take on the bowl design, and they selected two of the designs we came up with," she said. "They are still unsure of the full scope of the project, but the bowls could potentially be sold online, through grocery stores or given away through Sabra. So far, they have ordered 1,000, and we'll see what happens from there."

Brouwer and Huff are originally from Indiana, where they pursued art degrees at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

In 2011, the couple, who were married in 2013, moved to Western North Carolina and eventually began working full time as potters at Mud Dabbers Pottery on U.S. 276.

The couple still sells a lot of their work at Mud Dabbers but started their own studio in 2015.

"We typically produce a variety of functional pottery to sell locally, including dinnerware, platters, vases and lots of mugs," Brouwer said. "I do a lot of decorative carving on pots, and we also do a lot of stamped mugs with my drawings or custom stamped mugs for local businesses. This experience with custom stamping prepared us well to fulfill the design requirements of the Sabra bowl project.

"I used Sabra's new logo and embedded it within my own mandala design."

The couple makes several bowls at once and processes them through each step together, sometimes spending all day doing the same process to hundreds of bowls.

"Overall, we gave ourselves four months to complete one thousand bowls," Brouwer said. "There are many differences between our usual production practices and the requirements of this Sabra project. First of all, we have never filled an order this large. Typically we are able to work on multiple orders at once while maintaining a steady supply to local outlets; however, the size of this order requires more of our attention.

"It is also a lot different working with a large corporation as opposed to more personal relationships with local businesses. Another concern is that we have to be extremely accurate in terms of consistent size in order to properly fit the plastic hummus containers, giving us a small margin of error for flawed and warped pots. We usually do not have to deal with shipping, especially in such quantities."

A Sabra Dipping Company spokesperson said they have "long loved the beauty of a handmade or hand painted dip bowl and always enjoy working with small businesses and entrepreneurs."

During the company's search for potters, they came across the Panthertown Pottery website.

"We loved their work, their story and their passion for pottery," the spokesperson said.

"The authentic and handmade feel was the right fit for our brand, and we were seeking high quality bowls with a look people would be proud to put on the table. Consumers love the bowls and employees do too! Feedback has been great."

To find out more about the business, go to


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